Friday, June 20, 2008


I'm a puzzle writer. When a story comes to me, I do not get it in order of how the story will enfold. I usually end up having one clear scene in my head and then the story builds on that.

Many times the scene that is most clear to me is the opening. The heroine is going about her life as normal and then something drastic happens to spin her world upside down. I usually can't wait to write that scene, so I jot down the bones of it in a file and then put it aside until I can work on it.

Since I'm usually working on several projects at a time, I need to keep good files to keep all my stories straight.You'd think that when the time comes for me to write the story, scene two would naturally be the next scene I work on. Not necessarily. For me, stories come together as puzzles. I know the beginning. I know a scene in the middle somewhere and I almost always have the ending mapped out before I even know how the hero and heroine are going to get there. In fact, if you look on my hard drive, you'll see lots of stories with beginnings and endings already written.

I've tried many times to write in order. When I force myself into this mode, I get writer's block. I've come to realize that I'm a big picture sort of gal. I see the the progression of the story coming together as a whole rather than in a linear fashion. Now that I don't force myself to write in order, I write much quicker than I used to.

I talk about puzzle writing as well as linear, pantsers and plotters in my Understanding Your Writing Profile workshop, which I will be doing this weekend for the New England Chapter of RWA. What kind of writer are you??

I'm already starting to hear from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense bookclub readers about Her Only Protector. If you in the bookclub and have read Her Only Protector, please drop me a line and let me know how you liked the book!

Until next time, many blessings, Lisa Mondello


Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Lisa, I write much in the same fashion as you.

Knowing a scene or two, the beginning and the end, I'll start writing. Somewhere before the middle, I'll think of this great proposal scene. The black moment will become clearer, deeper. Sometimes I'll go back and change or enhance something before carrying on. But the start and end doesn't change.

When I'm done, I sometimes chop the first few pages/scenes off. I've found that I add stuff at the start that I need to know but the reader doesn't.

I'll have to look out for your book. :-)

Debra Clopton said...

Hi Lisa! And hello Anita Mae!

I love hearing how writers write. I think it is so cool how differently we can create our books. Me, I write from first scene to last scene. Every once in a while if I reach a spot where things aren't coming I know I've done something wrong somewhere behind me and I'll go back an figure it out.

I just put a blogged about my July book THE COWBOY TAKES A BRIDE if anyone wants to take a look click over to

I'll blog over here later this week.

Bless y'all!

Ausjenny said...

Im not a writer, but this sounds interesting. i love puzzles, jigsaws etc. and its interesting the many different ways you can get one complete. some do the outline first others the center etc.
Your book sounds good too. I am not a member as being aussie i have to pay upfront with a bank draft for 12 months and at present I really cant afford to do that.
so glad someone posted a new post. (i have been stalking this blog)

Debra Clopton said...

Hi Ausjenny!
You have been so faithful to post over here! We love that you are stalking our blog :) I wish there was a better way for you to get our books!

Lisa Mondello said...

Jenny, thanks for stopping by. I love seeing your posts on the blog as well. How are you feeling after surgery?

I'd hate to think you're missing out on some great books just because you can't get them where you're at. That's why I love that Steeple Hill has started releasing all the books as ebooks. Are you able to get ebooks?

Ausjenny said...

Lisa, i haven't had surgury that must be another Jenny

but i do stalk the blogs.

I haven't looked into ebooks as im not sure how to go about it.

Barbour have a good system for international readers. they will charge my credit card with each shipment. I can cancel at any time but its only shipment by shipment.
$18 every 6 weeks or even a month is much easier than up front.
i will check out ebooks. it would really be great if i had something to read them on when i am going to Canada in Sept (may buy some books there)
My friend joined the LI club and she has been sending me a few books also.

Lisa Mondello said...

Sorry, Jenny. Thought it was you. I know I've seen you lurking about. So glad you visit. It's always nice to see a familiar face!

Ausjenny said...

thats ok Lisa, I do lurk around.
am many author blogs including craftie ladies of suspense and keep me in suspense.
I have alot bookmarked and many posted on my blog (need to add a few more)